Key Economic Indicators – December 23, 2013

  • Real GDP increased at an annual rate of 4.1% in the third quarter of 2013, after increasing 2.5% in the previous quarter. Real final sales of domestic product (GDP less change in private inventories) increased 2.5%, compared with an increase of 2.1% in the previous quarter.
  • The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8% in the third quarter, compared to an increase of 0.2% in the previous quarter. 
  • Corporate profits from current production increased $39.2 billion in the third quarter, after an increase of $66.8 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Personal income increased 0.2% in November, while personal consumption expenditures increased 0.5%. The price index for personal consumption expenditures held steady in November for the second consecutive month. The price index (headline index) was up 0.9% from November 2012, while the core index was up 1.1%.
  • Total Industrial production increased 1.1% in November. The rate of capacity utilization for total industry was 79.0%.
  • The current account deficit decreased to $94.8 billion in the third quarter, from $96.6 billion in the previous quarter.
  • Treasury International Capital reported net foreign purchases of long-term securities of $54.7 billion in October, compared with net purchases of $63.0 billion in the previous month.
  • Housing starts surged 22.7% in November, following a 1.8% increase in the previous month. The total number of starts was 1,091 thousand units, an increase of 29.6% from November 2012.
  • November existing home sales decreased 4.3% to an annualized rate of 4,900 thousand units, according to the National Association of Realtors. The median sales price of existing houses sold was 9.4% above November 2012.
  • The housing market index of National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Wells Fargo increased to 58 in December.
  • The results of Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey of December 19th showed average fixed mortgage rates rising slightly from the previous week
  • Mortgage applications decreased 5.5% from a week earlier, according to data from Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Applications Survey for the week ending December 13th.
  • Third quarter productivity increased 3.0% (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the non-farm business sector, following a 1.8% increase in the previous period.
  • The advance figure for initial claims for unemployment insurance increased 10 thousand to 379 thousand in the week ending December 14.
  • Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.2% from October to November.
  • Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in November.
  • The consumer price index (headline index) held steady in November, while the core index increased 0.2%. The consumer price index increased 1.2% for the 12-month period ending in November, while the core index rose 1.7%.
  • The December 2013 Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that manufacturing conditions were flat for New York manufacturers.
  • The Philadelphia FED business outlook survey for December reported growth in manufacturing activity.
  • The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators increased 0.8% in November, while the coincident index increased 0.4%.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee decided to keep its target for the federal funds rate at 0 to 0.25%, and decided to modestly reduce the pace of its asset purchases.

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